Written by Sadaf Vidha, Psychologist at Type a Thought

It’s Result time and all boards like CBSE, ICSE and SSC are putting out their results. youngsters are now rushing from college to college, at least virtually, to secure admission.. it’s a highly competitive atmosphere right now, and all the fun had during vacations seems washed away!

We get many students on our online counseling website where we provide a free first session and career counseling, and they do seem very confused about what career direction to take! Everyone imaginable is giving them advice, be it 10th std or 12th std students. In fact, one of my co-counselors drew a parallel between the plight of our students and people who look for a change in career around the 30s. Regardless of whenever you want to decide a career direction, these three golden career rules can help you:

Skills and Interests: The first question to answer is this: what are your unique skills and interests? What are some things that always interested you from childhood? It can be anything, something as random as being ‘street-smart’ to something specific like being very good at selecting gifts for people. Along with your interest is the question of your skills too. For example, I have personally always like the concept of astronomy, but I do not really have good star-gazing skills.

So we are really looking for that sweet spot where skills and interests unite to become a passion.

Think long and think hard – doing what makes you happy? What makes you feel like it is ‘naturally you’ and what makes you feel like you spent time creating/being productive?

Visualize and Research: Now that we know what your passion or passions are, it is time to find career options where they can be used. You would generally have an area narrowed down. For example, if you are very social and can convince people, you may do well in sales, marketing or public speaking. After you have the areas, you need to visualize: can I spend all my life doing this, or variations of this?

To do the visualization properly, you would need to research: what does a marketing person do? How do they do it? Who helps them in it? what does the work look like? What are the best places to work and study? For details about colleges, universities and scholarships, you can talk to our our career counselor and discuss it in detail.

Experiment: Now is the time to test your research and reflection. Take up a free online course or a skill or a book related to your potential job or job types and make a project out of it. For example, if you want to become a developer, see if you can wrap yourself around basic coding. See if you are able to stick through with your project and whether you enjoy the challenge of learning. This helps to find out for sure if you are up for the actual hard work that goes in making your career.

By the end of applying these 3 tips of finding the right career direction, you will be able to cancel out a lot of wrong options. Of course, convincing your parents/family of your career choices can be another problem altogether! You can talk to our counselors to find out some tips to convince your parents!

All the best!